Oracle JD Edwards Leadership Forum 2019

by Barry Burke

An old seat of learning can still teach us new things.

DWS was delighted to be involved as a co-sponsor at the recent Oracle JD Edwards Leadership Forum held at the Beaumont Hotel in Old Windsor. This beautiful old building has a history dating back to the 14th century. More recently and before its’ conversion to a hotel it was a long-standing boarding school and before that a place of training for Jesuit priests. This seemed very appropriate for the event whose aim was to provide an environment to learn from Oracle, partners and customer peers. The Beaumont took great care of us the night before the event where our CIO’s enjoyed a lovely three course meal accompanied by some great wine. We were delighted to have had Lyle Ekdahl fly out from Denver specifically for this event to not only share his vision, but to also share some interesting anecdotes. Did you know that Lyle played Hockey to an advanced National level when he was younger and played in a band with his brothers?

Lyle’s keynote stressed the importance of embracing the continuous delivery model that his team are building and releasing to all year round. Getting to release 9.2, and then staying put, perpetuates the old bang and bust model of big upgrades every 5,6, or 7 years. Lyle’s team is beating a drum to following a regular cadence of dropping major updates once a year, and their record to date has been very impressive. The reason for this is that Lyle’s development team operate an agile development methodology alongside huge workloads of automated testing to ensure the consistent delivery of regular updates, ESU’s etc.

We have seen update 1,2 & 3 released around November each year. Whilst Oracle can’t commit to a specific date due to their publicly listed status, DWS is betting that we will see update 4 released pretty soon. These updates do not only contain fixes, they contain significant functional updates to the applications that JD Edwards customers use day in and out. Lyle quite rightly stated that doing nothing is not a strategy, customers on 9.2 should adopt a code-current strategy such that they are performing a code-current event at least once a year. Lyle showcased the excellent tools and technology that his team have built that support and enable a code-current strategy. Lyle also stressed the importance to customers of automating their testing, as this will significantly reduce testing cycles and compress project timelines such that code-current events are seen as ‘light-touch’ rather than large and unwieldy upgrades. I am pleased to say that DWS’ Dimension SwiftTestTM SaaS product does just this, we are able to reduce customers’ E1 test burden by up to 60%. Testing is typically seen as the longest pole in the tent and DWS can certainly help with that.

We had great feedback from customers regarding the round table discussions we had organized. The round tables were hosted by and attended by customers – partners and Oracle took a back seat. Topics were wide and varied, from discussing:

  • The challenges of integrating EnterpriseOne with other systems
  • Managing programmes of change
  • Convincing steering committees and boards to adopt new technologies/strategies (such as code-current)
  • Moving JD Edwards workloads to the cloud (OCI Gen 2)
  • Standardization across de-centralized E1 instances and many more.

All participants felt they could have talked for much longer on these subjects, but all agreed that more events like this one would be welcomed to continue the conversation and share thought leadership. We look forward to equally great events of this type in 2020.

If you have any questions or just want to talk find out more, please do not hesitate to contact the DWS team.